Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It Can't Happen Here...Can It?


From Wikipedia: "It Can't Happen Here is a semi-satirical 1935 political novel by American author Sinclair Lewis. Published during the rise of fascism in Europe, the novel describes the rise of Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip, a populist United States Senator who is elected to the Presidency after promising drastic economic and social reforms while promoting a return to patriotism and traditional values. After his election, Windrip takes complete control of the government and imposes totalitarian rule with the help of a ruthless paramilitary force, in the manner of Adolf Hitler and the SS. The novel's plot centers around journalist Doremus Jessup's opposition to the new regime and his subsequent struggle against it. Reviewers at the time, and literary critics ever since, have emphasized the connection with Louisiana politician Huey Long, who was preparing to run for President in 1936 when the novel appeared..."



From Lewis's book to today, we've seen all of the signs that Conservatives are succeeding in taking us down the road to fascism.

First, we look at the best and the brightest of the Conservative stars...



What kind of world would a writer like Lewis and other writers in the 30s see today?

"Ferguson Police Threaten, Restrain and Arrest Journalists, Is This A New Police State?"

A police officer runs up to a video journalist and shouts, "Get the fuck out of here ... or you're getting shot with this."


"No. This cannot be happening. Journalists are like the Red Cross. We are the untouchables during violence. We walk right up to the volcano of war and peer inside. The word 'PRESS' gives us a free pass in Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, Beirut, Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mexico. Journalists can take a war zone tour, the ultimate in adventure.

"Oh sure we might get hit by a bullet if we pop our head up at the wrong time or kidnapped by radicals ready to auction us to the highest bidder or sucked into a mob and molested by a thousand hands. We know the risks…or I should say, we knew the risks. But until now the danger comes from the “other” not the “us.”

"But in Ferguson the police shed the traditional well-known rules of journalism.  The police’s abuse of journalists became so bad that President Obama had to remind them that 'media freedom is protected in the U.S...'"

We could tell him that Ferguson is just an isolated incident...but that might be a fib.



Or we could point out that our justice system is the best in the world!

"Here's What Happens to Police Officers Who Shoot Unarmed Black Men."

csabacz/Shutterstock
"In the week since 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, initial autopsy findings, police reports, and eyewitness accounts have begun to provide some insights into the circumstances of his death. But plenty of questions remain unanswered, not the least of them: Where is Officer Darren Wilson, and what's likely to happen to him?

"Wilson, who was put on administrative leave after killing Brown, reportedly left home with his family a few days before his name was made public. A fundraising campaign launched on August 17 has already raised more than $10,000 to cover the financial needs of Wilson's family, 'including legal fees.' (The campaign has since increased its goal to $100,000.)

"It remains to be seen whether Wilson will face criminal charges, but a limited review of similar killings by police suggests that the officers more often than not walk away without an indictment, and are very rarely convicted..."

But as long as we take care of our children, our precious resource...we're okay!

"The Horrific Risk Of Gun Violence For Black Kids In America, In 4 Charts."



(And make sure that our kids are will fed and have a nice warm house to live in...we'll be fine!)

"There May Be More Homeless Kids Than You Think."

HOMELESS CHILD

"A shift in tracking homeless children may benefit young ones falling through the cracks in the current system.

"If the Homeless Children and Youth Act, sponsored by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), passes into law, the Department of Education and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would be on the same page when it comes to defining homelessness, according to the Newark Advocate. Currently, the Department of Education estimates that there are more than 1.1 million homeless children across the United States. HUD on the other hand, because of a stricter definition of what qualifies as homeless, counted just 138,000 children as meeting its on its latest survey taken last year, according to SFGate..."

But we and our children are doing well because of our "job creators," and we will make sure that "It Can't Happen" here...

"New Study Reveals That Republican Policies Have Pushed Millions Of Americans Into Hunger."

hunger-flag

"A travesty is 
a false, absurd, or distorted representation of something, and although not synonymous with a tragedy that means an unfortunate or disastrous occurrence, both words are apropos to the economic situation millions of Americans find themselves in. The travesty is that as the richest nation in the world, most of the nation’s wealth is held by a tiny percentage of wealthy elitists, and tragically, an inordinate percentage of the population is hungry for lack of income. Republicans claim people struggling in poverty are lazy and lack family values, or that cutting wages, eliminating overtime pay, and eliminating social programs coupled with more tax cuts for the rich and corporations will lift the poor out of poverty.

"It has been over five years since Republicans crashed the economy and put millions upon millions of Americans out of work and into poverty, and throughout the recovery Republicans drastically cut domestic programs, purposely kept wages stagnant, and maintained tax cuts and special privileges for the people they serve; the rich and corporations. According to their economic ideology, then, with the stock market at record highs, corporate profits through the roof, and unemployment continuing to fall, there should be very few Americans suffering from food insecurity and outright hunger. However, according to a shocking study released by the relief charity Feeding America on Monday, the number of Americans struggling to feed their families is the same as during the height of the Great Recession..."

But once we take care of fascism, it's gone forever...isn't it?



Finally, what can we do to stop the Conservatives from taking over?  Or is it indeed too late...

"Can America Wrestle Back Power From Its Corporate Overlords?"

"The preferences of the average American appear to have only a miniscule impact upon public policy."



"Americans are sick of politics. Only 13 percent approve of the job Congress is doing, a near record low. The President’s approval ratings are also in the basement.

"A large portion of the public doesn’t even bother voting. Only 57.5 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots in the 2012 presidential election.

"Put simply, most Americans feel powerless, and assume the political game is fixed. So why bother?

"A new study scheduled to be published in this fall by Princeton’s Martin Gilens and Northwestern University’s Benjamin Page confirms our worst suspicions.


"Gilens and Page analyzed 1,799 policy issues in detail, determining the relative influence on them of economic elites, business groups, mass-based interest groups, and average citizens..."

Ah well, maybe it has happened here.

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Much of the info above was posted with tongue slightly imbedded in our cheek, but it's no laughing matter when the Cons have relentlessly pushed us down the path to their New American Age of Feudalism.

With no opposition from the People or their media or their higher institutions of learning, we are finding out that it not only happened here, it happened without any resistance at all.

We should have criminalized Conservatism back in the '30s when Sinclair Lewis warned us what might happen.



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"It’s been the same story ever since I can remember, ever since Wilson – the
Republicans don’t do a thing for the little man."

John Updike. (American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, and literary
critic. 1932 – 2009.)

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